In support of the preparatory actions of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy a set of projects were launched in 2008 and 2009 with the aim of creating five portals that assembled fragmented and inaccessible marine data into interoperable, contiguous and publicly available data streams for complete maritime basins. Each of the five portals is concerned with a different aspect of marine environmental data: chemistry, hydrography, biology, geology and physical habitats.
Each portal is operated by a different thematic group. The thematic groups have been tasked by the European Commission with gathering relevant marine measurements within at least two sea–basins, and making the data available through a portal enabling public access and viewing of these data.
· Task One to assess the user-friendliness of the portals;
· Task Two to gauge the re-usability of the data; and
· Task Three to determine how well the portals have overcome the legal obstacles to data sharing identified in the study
“Legal Aspects of Marine Environmental Data” (FISH/2006/09).